Recently engaged, overwhelmed and trying to figure out what to do next? Here are the 10 top things to do after you get engaged to your partner.
Friend, I am SO excited for you! Being engaged is exciting but can be a little stressful when everyone is asking what comes next. As a Cincinnati wedding photographer, I have watched endless couples get engaged to their loves and I’ve been engaged myself. I am giving you all of my tips and tricks on what you should do after you get engaged to your boo. I hope this brings you a little peace and clarity during the wedding planning process. YOU GOT THIS! Congrats on marrying the love of your effing life.
Oh hell yeah! You’re engaged to your bestie and it’s time to do a party dance. Seriously, get up and shake ya booty a little bit (or a whole lot) because this calls for some celebration! You two are about to celebrate a huge milestone together. Go grab cocktails at your favorite local bar or just soak in each others company at home. Buckle up and cheers to a new chapter in your love story!
2. INSURE YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING(S)
If you have homeowners or renters insurance, you can easily add on your ring to make sure it is all covered! You never know when something might happen so make sure you get this covered sooner, rather than later.
3. PLAN YOUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS
Engagement photos are a great way to share the news and have a little fun too. This is also a great opportunity to check out photographers in your area and see what all they have to offer. Some wedding photographers offer a complimentary engagement session when you book a wedding package or have a discounted rate. If engagement photos are not your thing, skip it! But as a wedding photographer, I highly encourage you to get in front of the camera and make even more memories with one another. Your engagement photos can look anyway you want them including having cocktails at your favorite bar, adventuring through antique shops or just enjoying a picnic in the park.
When you’re ready to book your wedding photographer, reach out to them as soon as you can! Wedding photographers can be booked out as far as 18 months in advance. Send that initial email, get the info and book them if you’re ready to go. Consider the things below when reaching out to your potential wedding photographer.
Photography Style –
Do they have the style that you’re looking for? (Dark/moody vibes, light and airy, earthy tones, vintage, timeless, etc).
Lighting Conditions –
When looking at your photographers work, see if they can take photos in all different kinds of lighting situations. This is especially crucial if you are going to have parts of the wedding day in low-light conditions or having minimal window lighting in your venue.
Payment Options –
Do they offer payment plans or require a full payment upfront? Some photographers may offer a discount on wedding packages if you book far enough in advance for your wedding date.
Gallery Turnaround Time –
How long is the turnaround time for getting your wedding photos back?
What’s Included –
Look at everything that is included in the wedding packages. Is there a second photographer? Engagement session? Polaroids? Film? Albums? High resolution downloads?
The Vibe –
Don’t book a photographer based on the fact that they’re cheaper than the rest. Book a wedding photographer who you actually bond with and know will take care of you on the wedding day. You’re going to be spending a lot of quality time together so you should definitely vibe!
4. SET THE VIBE
Are you two wanting to elope, do the full wedding shebang with your loved ones or maybe something smaller? This day can be anyway you want it! If you’re like my boyfriend & I, we kind of like to do things alone so eloping is the best for us. We’re awkward as ever and our dogs are our kids/besties. I’ve always dreamed about eloping to Oregon but others have a totally different dream. You may want to do a bigger wedding with a party – EITHER WAY IS OKAY! Make your day however you’d like but don’t forget that this is about the two of you – not what everyone else wants. At the end of the day, your happiness and love is what matters.
Here are some questions to help you decide which wedding path may be better for you!
- Do you love to host or prefer to relax/chill?
- Do you enjoy being the center of attention?
- Are you an introvert or extrovert?
- Do you prefer having a quiet day or one that is more rowdy?
- Is your budget small or are you ready to splurge a little?
- Would you love to travel somewhere or imagine yourself staying closer to home?
- Do you want to just say “fuck it, let’s get married asap” or are you excited for the planning process?
5. DETERMINE A BUDGET
Yes, it’s awkward but necessary. Planning your wedding budget is a vital step after getting engaged to your love, especially if you’re wanting to plan the wedding within a year or so after. If you’re looking for an easy tool to plan your wedding, here is my favorite budget planner and checklist from Etsy. I know it’s going to be easy to run into Hobby Lobby and get everything you’ve ever envisioned but make sure you’re including your other half into the decisions. Have open communication from the start and hold each other accountable. You’re a team and don’t forget it.
6. CHOOSE AT LEAST 3 POTENTIAL WEDDING DATES
It’s always better to have more than one wedding date picked out because you’ll notice that dates fill up fast! Especially if you are planning on having a weekend wedding – Saturdays will become booked quickly. This is why it’s important to start reaching out to your favorite wedding vendors, sooner rather than later. If you have one date that you are absolutely stuck on, consider having a smaller wedding at a nontraditional wedding venue.
7. BOOK YOUR WEDDING VENUE
It’s time to start finding where this whole shebang is going to happen at. This part doesn’t have to be stressful – it can be so much fun! Think about the venue as house hunting. There are many incredible venues out there to choose from. If you’re thinking about an elopement, check in with National Parks, Airbnbs, Local Parks or wherever you heart is wanting to elope. You may still need to pay a fee or get a permit that will take quite some time. Below are a few things to consider when you are searching for your dream wedding venue.
Location, location, location –
If you’re a couple who loves being in the city, do it! There are tons of beautiful city venues and some you can find at a reasonable price. If you want to be in a rural area, just make sure that your venue has everything you need for the big day. Nothing is worse than driving 30 minutes into town for little things. If your family is from out of state, find a spot that would be neutral for all of them to come together. A place near hotels, restaurants, gas stations and easy accessibly are all important to consider.
Style and layout –
You want to vibe with your venue! If it doesn’t feel like you, then don’t book it. You should fall in love with your venue and all of the incredible things that it has to offer.
Catering and bartending policies –
Check in with your venue about if they allow outside food that can be made by you (potluck style, charcuterie grazing boards) or if they required certain caterers in the area. Some venues may have bartenders of their own who will work during your wedding day but others may have the option of you hiring your own.
This is so crucial but often overlooked. Ask your venue about parking spaces and how many cars they can hold. Some venues may also offer parking guidance for your guests on the day of your wedding and even valet services.
Your dream wedding venue may offer discounts on weekday weddings or other amenities that they offer!
8. RELAX AND LET THE FUN BEGIN
Okay let’s take a breath because that was a lot! When you have your budget set, date locked in and the venue ready to roll – that is when the fun parts begin. You can start inviting your best friends to join your wedding day squad, design save the dates and make an incredible wedding website. One thing that I recommend to all couples getting married is to make a self care plan. It may sound ridiculous to some but there will be stress in this process. Not every part of your planning is going to be exciting and amazing. Unfortunately, you’re going to go through some rough patches but that happens with everyone. You’re seriously not alone. Keep working together but more importantly, keep loving each other.
But most importantly, take care of the two of you.